Building a Better Future

2017 was more than just another great year of animal adoptions and successful fundraising events.  In 2017,  our organization's long-time vision of building a state-of-the-art facility that embraces our life-saving philosophy, supports our community outreach programs, and offers the animals a better quality of life as they wait for homes went from being a dream, to a reality.  

I believe the story of how this came together is so clearly a product of our continued faith, hope and divine planning that I'd like to share it with you.

The Struggle is Real
HSHC has been out of space in our current facility for nearly a decade operating with significant spacial and operational challenges such as no intake/arrival area for cats, a quarantine area, a recovery area for the injured, a surgical suite, or outside space for the dogs to exercise to name a few.  The fact we've evolved into one of the country's few open-admission, truly No-Kill shelters is absolutely remarkable and a testament to our staff, board, and volunteers' relentless support of our mission.  It's a testament to you.

We searched for land or a property to repurpose for several years located in an accessible area where we wouldn't be out of sight, out of mind--but rather--in sight and top of mind. Finding affordable, accessible and zonable land with enough room for the Humane Society to build our vision of a family friendly destination that celebrates the human-animal bond had been unsuccessful.

The Stars Align
A couple of weeks before our Tinsel & Tails gala in November 2016, the Creekside Church property located at 106th & Hague Road in Fishers went on the market.  The beautiful green space, existing buildings, easy accessibility from both 106th and 96th Street--all tucked in and buffered by trees and Ritchie Woods, made this spot perfect.  We knew this was our chance, but we would need approximately one million dollars, and quickly, to pursue the opportunity.

Tinsel & Tails arrived which is our largest annual fundraiser supporting the daily operation. Our plan was to share the urgency of this need and perhaps an angel would be in attendance that night to answer the call.  Little did we know, an angel was, indeed, present that evening.

Two of our supporters, Nick and Ronda Weybright, had just received our Fundraiser of the Year Award and joined me on the stage to accept it.  Nick asked if he could say a few words.  To my surprise, and subsequent ugly-cry-face, he announced that a gift of approximately
Sheri L. Ridge
one million dollars had been left to HSHC by an amazing woman named Sheri L. Ridge.  Sheri had recently passed away leaving a trust that would help multiple charities save, and change, so many lives for the better.  We were honored to be one of them.

Sheri's forthcoming gift, and support of Nick and Ronda Weybright who helped us secure the property before losing out to another buyer, lead to a whirlwind community outreach campaign to gauge and gain community support of our request to relocate the shelter to Fishers.  The support from nearby residents, businesses and HSHC advocates in the Fishers community was truly overwhelming.

Running Out of Time
For nearly a decade, I've asked our staff, volunteers and board not to lose hope. On days we've
been so inundated with new arrivals that staff and volunteers have taken animals home to create a little more space,  and we've worked into the late evening hours networking for foster and adoptive homes--I've asked them not to lose hope.   Sitting on top of each other in the office we outgrew 8 years ago, trying to find a quiet corner in the office or a visiting room where a terrified or seriously injured animal could rest--I've asked them not to lose hope.  Watching dogs and cats decline and succumb to illness or depression surrounded by the deafening noise of the kennel or the isolation of stainless steel walls--I've asked them not to lose hope.  But with the growing needs of the animals and community with each passing year, month and day--we were losing hope.

On March 20, 2017, City Hall was standing room only as the Fishers Council unanimously voted to approve our zoning request to relocate the Humane Society for Hamilton County from Noblesville to the city of Fishers. After the vote I immediately looked toward our employees and saw something in their faces I hadn't seen in so long.  They had hope.

The Plan
We are now working with our Advisory Council,  Curran Architecture and Meyer Najem on a new facility design that will build upon and expand the two existing buildings on this property.  Once we have a completed and approved design, we'll share that with you. Until then, we will continue working toward securing the majority (approximately 80%) of the anticipated $5M in funding we'll need from individual donors and businesses in our community.   Then, we'll move from the quiet phase of our capital campaign to the public phase securing the remaining funds through general donations.  Due to the urgency of our needs, our timeline goal for building completion is approximately 3 years.

This is going to require a few more angels.

Bust Out Those Wings
There are so many remarkable people in our community.  Bountiful blessings have been bestowed upon our county and so many of its residents.   The work HSHC does to give over 3,100 animals, regardless of age, breed, disability, special medical needs, time or space, is a blessing.   These animals--who go on to complete families, give many seniors a reason to wake up each day, and many veterans a reason not to give up--are a blessing.

Please Watch
This behind the scenes video tour of the shelter is from 4 years ago. It has become harder each year to sustain our efforts and offer the quality of life these animals deserve.  Please watch and learn why time is of the essence. 
With Hope,
Rebecca Stevens
Executive Director  
Angel Hotline: 317-219-3524

"If you hear this message, wherever you stand,
I'm calling every woman, I'm calling every man.
We're the generation, we can't afford to wait.
The future started yesterday, and we're already late.

We've been looking for the world to change.
If you feel the same, then go on and say that you're out there.
Sing along with me, if you're out there.
They're dying to believe that you're out there.
Stand up and say it loud if you're out there,
Because tomorrow's starting now."

--John Legend

Tails From Home
Aubrey & Her Guardian Angel
"This story spans many years, involves several different people, and is about one little cat. Aubrey.
I met Aubrey in November 2014 when I toured the facility at HSHC, looking for a new kitty to adopt. Aubrey looked like my old kitty who had just died after a prolonged illness. Aubrey was older as well, and she was sick, too. I spent time with Aubrey in the 'get acquainted' room and fell in love with her. However, I talked myself out of stepping back into the same situation I had been in for the previous two years and decided not to adopt Aubrey.  Fast-forward to December 2016. I received the "Pawgress Report" with a link to the animals who had been waiting the longest for a home. Much to my dismay, Aubrey was in the list! She had been languishing in her cane for the two years since I had visited her! 
Aubrey had spent most of her nine years at the Humane Society for Hamilton County. She had been brought in as a kitten, was adopted and brought back three times. She had developed an auto immune disease in which her body tried to consume her own skin. This gave her raw lesions on her skin. Fortunately, the veterinarian was able to diagnose her condition and put her on medication that controlled her disease.

I had an idea. Although I could not bring Aubrey into my home, I could afford to pay for her monthly prescription. I contacted HSHC and offered to pay for Aubrey's medication if someone would adopter her and take her into their home forever.  

They confirmed my assumption that one of the obstacles to Aubrey being adopted was the additional expense of her medication.
This is the point in the story where the kind folks at Hamilton Humane took over. They found a foster family who took Aubrey home with them, and I started paying for her monthly prescription. The family sent me videos of Aubrey playing in her new home - she looked very happy and content. These videos are priceless to me!
Last month, the story got even better. I was notified that Aubrey's new family can now afford her prescriptions. My sponsorship has ended. Aubrey's new family reports that they love her to pieces.
Perhaps you might also consider providing a medical sponsorship for a shelter animal in order to help transition them into a loving home, and into a life of safety, contentment, and good health. These animals are the least likely to get adopted, and they are suffering in many ways. Not only will the animal's life be positively changed, a family will get to adopt this sweet creature, and you will feel a perfect sense of closure. Trust me, it is a win-win-win situation!"
Do you have a happy ending about your HSHC pet?
Paws of the Month
Meet Charles Jay
There have been thousands of famous Charles' throughout history, but there is only one Charles Jay, Newfoundland-Labrador Retriever mix, 94 pounds, big brown eyes and a big smile.
Charles Jay came from a rough puppyhood. When he was found as a stray, it was evident that he was a victim of abuse. He was brought to HSHC and has been thoroughly enjoying the warm and comfy life indoors along with all the love he could want. As a result of his early life, Charles Jay finds it hard to trust humans, but once he gets to know someone, he learns to trust.

Charles Jay LOVES other dogs. He would do very well in a home with dogs to help him learn the ropes. Older children who understand his personality and needs would also help Charles gain trust and confidence. Charles is searching for his next and final owner; someone who can be patient, loving, and kind to this big fluffy pup.
Jill is Too Sexy for This Shelter 

This sassy 9-year-old calico is waiting just for you! Once in the home she starts out slow, but she'll soon be climbing on your lap looking for attention in just a few hours. Jill's foster mom said after only 1-hour, Jill was seeking affection and attention and slept next to her all night long! All Jill needed was a home and wide open spaces to come out of her shell.

Jill is miserable at the shelter.  She's incredibly stressed and, therefore, does not show well to visitors.  She may be giving a come hither look in this photo, but Jill is almost always fearful and anxious when meeting new people.  Once we put her in a foster home, her loving personality came out.  She's a sweetie who loves a balance between quiet alone time and cuddles and affection.

Jill is healthy, front declawed, housebroken, and waiting just for you.  

Special Recognition
Volunteer of the Month
Kelly Glogoza
Kelly is an exceptional volunteer that has logged over 1700 lifetime hours in 3 years.  She teaches the dog walking classes, shadows new dog walkers, transports dogs to and from daycare, and helps kennel staff with cleaning. She is at the shelter on most holidays making sure the dogs get their time outside and has fostered dogs with behavior problems who need a break from the shelter.
Kelly always has a smile on her face. Her passion is contagious. Thank you, Kelly, for all you do for HSHC and the animals in our care.
Interested in Volunteering? 
C orporate Sponsor of the Month
Thank you, Meyer Najem, for your continued support of our mission and shelter!
Employee of the Month
Nadya Helmer

Nadya joined our Customer Service team one year ago. In her time here she has demonstrated a willingness to help out where ever its needed. During the month of November, Nadya tapped into her inner marketer promoting our matching campaign to visitors and adopters. Her efforts helped us raise over $8,000 toward our goal of $30K!
This young lady is full of heart.  Please join us in celebrating Nadya as our Employee of the Month!
Trends for Tails
At our Trends for Tails Resale Boutique, every dollar counts.

You'll get upscale women's & men's clothing, accessories, shoes, jewelry and home decor at the BEST prices...with your dollars helping the animals who are counting on us.

Receive 50% off all regularly priced clothes now!

Please LIKE our Trends for Tails Resale Boutique Facebook page so you'll see our new arrivals and hear about the best deals first!  We're located at 1109 S. 10th Street in Noblesville.